Star Trek: Enterprise (2005): S04E18 – In a Mirror, Darkly, Part 01


“In a Mirror, Darkly” is the eighteenth and nineteenth episodes of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise.

This instalment was developed to be a sequel to The Original Series episode “The Tholian Web” (TOS, S03E09) and a prequel to “Mirror, Mirror” (TOS, S02E24).

The decision to set an Enterprise episode in the mirror universe originated with a pitch to enable William Shatner to appear in the series. The teleplays for both parts of the episode were written by Mike Sussman, with Manny Coto contributing the story for the second part.

Set in the 22nd century, the series normally follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. However, these instalments feature a mirror universe Jonathan Archer and evil counterparts of the normal characters, who serve the cruel and militaristic Terran Empire. In the first part, the ISS Enterprise learns of a Starfleet ship from the future of the main universe which is being stripped for parts by the Tholians, and seeks to take the ship from the aliens. The second part sees the surviving crew operating the USS Defiant and seeking to overthrow the Empire using its advanced weaponry.

The episode saw the reuse of footage from Star Trek: First Contact and the creation of an alternative opening credits sequence which included footage from other Paramount properties such as the film The Hunt for Red October. A three-quarters-around bridge from The Original Series era was constructed, as well as other sets from a Constitution-class starship. A Gorn and a Tholian were both created using CGI, with the Gorn utilizing motion capture techniques.

This instalment also saw the return of Vaughn Armstrong as Admiral Maxwell Forrest after his main universe character was killed on screen earlier in the season in the episode “The Forge” (S04E07). This episode subsequently appeared in several lists of the best episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. It was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series in 2005.


In 2063, a Vulcan ship lands on Earth, making first contact with humans (as seen in Star Trek: First Contact). Instead of peacefully greeting them, Zefram Cochrane shoots the lead Vulcan and the humans storm and loot the ship. In 2155, Doctor Phlox and Major Reed demonstrate a new torture device to Captain Forrest and Commander Archer on the ISS Enterprise. Archer suggests to Forrest they travel into Tholian space, as he has heard rumours of technology they might wish to steal. The two argue, and Forrest returns to his quarters where he is comforted by Lieutenant Sato. When he leaves, he is ambushed by Archer and several MACOs (a military team) and sent to the brig.

Archer travels to the bridge and announces that he has taken command. After torturing a Tholian pilot for coordinates, he orders a change of course to the shipyard, and tells Commander T’Pol, whom he promotes to first officer, to install a Suliban cloaking device with Commander Tucker. Archer also appoints Sergeant Mayweather as his personal guard, and Sato proposes that she keep her job as Captain’s woman. Archer has Sato send a message to Starfleet about their mission to raid the Tholian technology. Tucker is injured when the cloaking device is sabotaged. Archer questions Forrest, who denies all knowledge, and Reed tortures Tucker expecting him to be the saboteur.

T’Pol leads a team to free Forrest and reclaim the ship, but Archer encrypts navigation control to prevent a course change. Forrest tortures Archer, but orders his release after he receives word that Starfleet agrees with Archer’s plans. Archer shows images of an alternate universe vessel from the future named USS Defiant (a Constitution-class starship, last seen in “The Tholian Web” (TOS, S03E09), that has technology and power that is a century more advanced than ISS Enterprise. On arriving at the shipyard, Archer, T’Pol, and Tucker transport across, and Tucker begins powering up the vessel. Tholian vessels then attack, creating an energy web around Enterprise. Forrest orders the crew to abandon ship but remains behind as the ship is destroyed.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): James L. Conway.
  • Writer(s): Michael Sussman.
  • Release Date: 22 April 2005.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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